While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks


While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks


1. While shepherds watch’d their flocks by night,

All seated on the ground,

The angel of the Lord came down,

And glory shone around.

“Fear not,” said he, for mighty dread

Had seized their troubled mind;

“Glad tidings of great joy I bring

To you and all mankind.”

2. “To you, in David’s town this day,

Is born of David’s line

The Savior who is Christ the Lord,

And this shall be the sign:

The heav’nly Babe you there shall find

To human view displayed,

All meanly wrapped in swathing bands,

And in a manger laid.”

3. Thus spake the seraph, and forthwith

Appeared a shining throng

Of angels praising God, who thus

Addressed their joyful song:

“All glory be to God on high

And on the earth be peace.

Goodwill henceforth from heav’n to men

Begin and never cease.”

Text: Nahum Tate, 1652–1715; based on Luke 2:8–14

Music: Yorkshire carol, ca. 1800

Luke 2:8–14